Today I’m interviewing LB Gregg who has been published since February, 2009, a relatively short time. LB has 4 books out, all of which have been well received by readers and she has built up quite a fan base.
Hi LB Since some of the ‘regulars’ who visit this site don’t know an awful lot about you, can you tell us something about LB the author and the person?
That’s so funny. I think of this group as kind of knowing me as a blogger—Lisabea. I’ve been roaming the internet for about three years, blogging and goofing around for two and half years. I’m a mom. I ski when I can, (not hardly at all this year) I travel often, I’m addicted to coffee and I hate to cook. I’ve been married a long time to the incomparable Mr. Darcy (aka G) and we have three practically perfect teenagers.
Since you mention your alter ego Lisabea, what do you miss most about not having as much time for the blog? ManLoveMondays? Your unique book reviews?
I miss the camaraderie, of course, and the silliness, but I don’t miss reviewing. It got to the point where reviewing felt like work. There are some very memorable reviews on my blog, I think my Lola Dances review was particularly inspired—and my interpretive dance for Death of a Pirate King—but overall, I’m satisfied with my transition from blogger to author. And…I have to say, I met the nicest, funniest, smartest, sweetest people blogging. It was really fun.
What are the biggest challenges for you as an author, other than finding the time to write?
Staying focused and quelling doubt.
When you decided to become an author you didn’t write hetero romances, instead you focused on books about gay men. As you may know, this site only reviews M/M romances and other books about gay men. Was this sub genre always the focus of your writing? Why? (Other than the fact that the guys are hawt) 🙂
I like to say that I found my voice in m/m fiction—and yes. That’s what I call it. Male/Male fiction. It just works for me. A few years ago, I read a couple of notable books—and I followed Brockmann’s amazing Troubleshooter series– and it was exciting and new. Suddenly there was this market, this whole new world to write about, and, of course, I love men. Writing about two men just seemed exactly what I’d been waiting for. I’ve only been writing for two years (I scribbled a bit before that, but nothing stuck) and the stories just keep coming.
Your newest book, Catch Me If You Can reviewed here is book 1 in the Romano and Albright series. Your last 3 books were also part of a series. Do you find writing series books more satisfying?
I’m extremely green–this is just what I’ve done to this point. I saw Smithfield as a series of books about place and a celebration of the seasons. Romano and Albright is plain fun. I like these two characters and I wanted to explore an episodic series–not a drama of building plot lines–but a kind of revisit to the same people having a good time and following the ins and outs of a relationship. Plus lots of laughter and sex.
Do you have any plans to write standalone books in the immediate future?
I have two planned. One for Halloween with Josh Lanyon (a two author antho) and one, well we’ll see. A good part of it is written, and hopefully I’ll attend to finishing it this summer, but I have other commitments first. I’m a slow writer. I take a lot of time between projects. That’s just how I am–I can’t force the writing.
There is still one more book left in the Men of Smithfield to complete the series. Is this story just a plot bunny right now? If you have written it how about giving us a preview of the blurb?
Holden and Adam’s story is currently –wait what day is this posting, the 17th? (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!)–WITH MY EDITOR. PHEW!
“They were star-crossed lovers from the start.
Former television sensation and renowned world explorer, Holden Worthington, is held prisoner by crippling agoraphobia. When a sexy young laborer arrives to set his property to rights, a ray of light begins to glimmer in Holden’s dark and narrow world. A grisly discovery throws the two men together, and Holden finds his world turned inside out– by his inappropriate longing for his awkward, young employee, Adam Morgan, and by a threat growing around them both. All of Smithfield believes Holden has something to hide, and Adam is determined to bring everything–including Holden Worthington–into the open.”
In and Out releases May 14th from my good friends at Aspen Mountain Press–it’s my first true mystery, at least that’s what I’ve been told, and centers on an upper crust agoraphobic former tv personality and his wrong side of the tracks, awkward young gardener. Very hot.
Why are your books told from the first person, especially since readers have a hard time relating to a single protagonist rather than two strong characters? Do you find it easy to get inside your protagonist’s head and telling readers his most private and personal thoughts? Many authors tell me that 1st person POV is very difficult to pull off in terms of having the readers relate to the characters. Has this been your experience?
Some readers do have a hard time enjoying first person POV. It’s a risky choice for an author, especially in romantic fiction, but I’m willing to take that risk. I like seeing the world through my character’s eyes–and I enjoy how limiting first person can be. It’s a challenge, but it’s actually a joy to slip into these characters. The trick is to make them likable, even when they aren’t. It’s a difficult balance. My readers appear to like it and my editors keep asking for more. I just try to be engaging. Some of my favorite authors handle first person brilliantly: Evanovich and Harris spring immediately to mind.
I read somewhere that you might consider writing a spec fiction novel. Is this just a dream of yours or have you actually done some work on a manuscript? Fantasy is probably the first genre I ever read so I’m always interested in finding out about new books coming up.
I was considering it, even working a bit on the story and researching, but it’s not gelling so I’ve stuck it in a drawer. I’m a fantasy fan–Tad Williams new book is in my hands right now! All I can say is: we’ll see. I refuse to get overwhelmed with projects. I have a family and a husband and life in Casa Lisabea isn’t a happy place when momma ain’t happy. There’s no rush. I’m brand new.
What’s fun about writing, other than the acclaim of being a famous author? Do you get the best tickets to concerts? I understand you’re very fussy about your coffee – do you think your local Starbucks might name one of its lattes in your honour? 🙂
Not Starbucks. Dunkin’ Donuts. They make THE best coffee in the world. I prefer hazelnut or coconut lots of skim milk, NO SUGAR. Uhm. I drink a lot of coffee. And I’m sort of a wino.
Fun about being an author? I don’t know, Wave. Really. When I was a blogger, I could state my opinion pretty freely, but as an author, it’s difficult in a way that never occurred to me when I was blogging. Anything you say can and will be held against you. I’ve had to be much more circumspect (So. Difficult. I can’t even tell you). I have blogging friends who have gone the distance supporting my writing career and I’ve been called on it. It’s crazy
I do love when someone like (TOTAL NAME DROP) KA Mitchell comes up and says, “I loved your book!” That was probably THE most thrilling thing for me. ::bows and worships:: I adore her. She’s a sweetie. It’s funny that people want to take photos with me. I have the most awkwardly frozen smile for photo ops. Rosie (my gal pal) says I look like a deer in the headlights. True that.
When you’re not writing what do you do for fun other than skiing?
I travel. I love to hike and go to the beach. I love to shop and hang out with my kids. I could dine out and drink good wine every day of the week (unfortunately my pants won’t allow me to do that). I adore my husband and I’m pretty much up for whatever he has on the agenda. With the exception of traveling to Asia. I just can’t fit that into my schedule. And, of course, I watch the German Soap Alles Was Zahlt. SQUEE. SQUEE. I have an obsession with Roman Wild and will attend Gays of Our Lives in NYC March 26-28. I will have fancy shoes and sparkly make-up.
L.B. GREGG UNPLUGGED
If you have ever checked out my interviews you probably know that sometimes the authors have to walk the imaginary plank with the guys in the hot tub. When I told the guys that you were being interviewed they wanted a chance to interview you as well. The rules are you must be fully clothed in the tub since you’re not a gay man. If you insist on wearing almost nothing e.g. a thong, you could be touched in inappropriate places and you would have no one to blame but yourself. 🙂 All set? OK here are the questions
What kind of man turns LB on? Tall, dark and handsome? A blonde hottie? Lots of muscles like the guy on your website? Waifish? A chocolate bunny? Fill in the blanks
L.B’s hawt guys must be ……………Funny. He’s got to laugh at my jokes, and he has to have a quick wit. To me, that is THE most attractive quality, followed by constancy. But black Irish is a thing for me. My G has BLACK hair and the lightest most beautiful blue/green eyes. Le. Sigh.
We read your new book, Catch Me If You Can, and we have a few questions. Shep is quite good looking but he says he’s straight. However, we were wondering – Does he do guys? If so, can we have his phone number and other vital stats?
Sheppard McNamara IS better looking than a young Brad Pitt–and clearly, he does guys. He just lies about it.
Dan Albright, who is romancing Caesar is quite the manly hunk. Do you know if he fools around when Caesar is not looking and is he available for a hook up tonight? What about Caesar, Dan’s little boy toy – do you think he would give us a whirl?
Ce? Fool around? He’s too prissy to be indiscriminate. And Dan better not, if he knows what’s good for him. ::stern look:: Caesar’s family would not take it well. If you hear me.
(I’m sorry LB but you are not allowed to take off your underwear in the tub) Where were we? Oh yes!
Coming back to this new book of yours, Dan and Caesar seem to have sex in public a lot. We like to have sex in public places too so what we want to know is, have you ever done it in a ballpark after hours? On the lawn of a government building? In the public library? In your friends’ houses when they’re not looking? All of the above?
A lady never reveals the details of her love life. She also keeps her panties on in public. Just saying’.
LB Is there a chance that one of us might be in your next book? We might want to practice the sex scenes a few times before you film them. Oh damn, that’s the movies. Well anyway we can still practice getting naked as many times as you want. What? That’s not necessary because you’re the one directing the show? Fine, if you want to be that way. 🙂
Guys LB doesn’t need or want your phone numbers. Remember, you’re gay and not into women.
I’m flattered. Truly.
LB you’re the famous blogger Lisabea with that site Nose in a Book where all the hot guys hung out. heh! heh! hung out. We were wondering if there’s a chance we could be on your blog and let it all hang out, so to speak?
You are welcome to splay yourselves all over my wee blog. I’d like that.
What of your old friend Josh Lanyon? You say that you and he are writing an anthology together. Is he aware of this? 🙂
Joshie? Oh, he’s kicking around here somewhere—and yes, it was his idea! We have a few tricks up our sleeves—and we’ll be doing more projects together down the road. He’s IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with—so I just sit back and watch him go. I’ll let him know you were asking after him.
Thank you LB We know you have other books to write and we hope you will come back to visit us in future despite some of the impertinent questions. 🙂
Thanks JW. I had fun!
LB Gregg’s Contact Information
LB Gregg will donate a copy of her brand new book Catch Me If You Can to a lucky reader who comments on her interview.